Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

A powerful novel about hope and heartbreak, “as much about loss as it is about first love and friendship” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).Sandwiched between two exceptional siblings, Taylor Edwards never felt like she stood out—except for her history of running away when things get too complicated. Then her dad receives unexpected, terrible news, and the family makes the last-minute decision to spend the summer together in the cramped quarters at their old lake house.

Taylor hasn’t been to the summer house since she was twelve, and she definitely never planned on going back. Up at the lake she is confronted with people she thought she left behind, like her former best friend, Lucy, and Henry Crosby, her first crush, who’s all grown up…and a lot cuter. Suddenly Taylor is surrounded by memories she’d rather leave in the past—but she can’t run away this time. 
As the days lying on the beach pass into nights gazing at the stars, Taylor realizes she has a second chance—with friends, with family, maybe even with love. But she knows that once the summer ends, there is no way to recapture what she stands to lose. From Morgan Matson, the PW Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, this is a remarkable novel about hope in the face of heartbreaking grief. (From Goodreads)


 This story brought back so many memories. The reason being: its the most raw, most realistic, most fact based story I've ever read. For this to be my first book by Morgan Matson, I am very pleased with it. It surely will not be my last. 

     My aunt just passed away from breast cancer and I found out about 3 months ago that my grandmother has Stage IV Ovarian cancer, so this book really hit home for me. As read it I noticed all the things that I noticed while watching my grandmother (who is now in the care of hospice) and my aunt. It really felt like Matson was going on personal experience because everything was there. Even the smallest of details. This is actually what I liked the most. (Even though it made me cry like non stop!) It really feel like this was the first "real" realistic fiction book I've ever read. 

     I also really liked the characters. Although Taylor had her faults, someone helped her understand and come to terms with them. I also liked Henry. (I mean he works in a bakery! What's not to like?!) It was obvious that he genuinely loved Taylor and would do anything for her. With Lucy, I really liked her, but I really thought their little feud was stupid. At 12, none of that should've been as important to them as it was. As far as all the supporting characters, Davey was my favorite. I thought he was adorable. 

     Lastly, I loved that the writing style was so easy to read. For such a tough subject, Matson's writing style made it easy to read and easy to understand. She will bring out your best and your worst emotions at the same time and leave you wanting more. Honestly, last night when I finished I had already thought of when I would take the time to re-read this. 

     Matson is an amazing author and I''m upset that I waited until now to read something by her. I know that I've absolutely loved something when I can relate it to my own personal experiences as well as completely getting "taken away" with the author's words and that's exactly what this one did for me.